[Update: Goodell has officially suspended Roethlisberger for the first 4 games of the season. Read the full story here.]
At some point tomorrow, representatives of Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to ask for a reduction in Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension down to three. Steelers’ President Arthur Rooney will also attend this meeting to support his franchise quarterback.
Back in April of this year, Roethlisberger was suspended six games for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy; he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year old college student in a Georgia nightclub. At the time of the suspension, Roger Goodell said he would consider reducing the length of Roethlisberger’s suspension from six games to four under certain circumstances.
As you all know, the Steelers’ fourth game is on October 3rd against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz field. So it’s obvious the Steelers are trying their hardest to have Roethlisberger back in time for the game against their division rival. But if Goodell allows this to happen, then he should be considered an ultimate hypocrite. Then again, it won’t matter if Roethlisberger plays or not; the Steelers will be in for a rude awakening by a new and improved Ravens team.
Roethlisberger was the first player ever to be suspended under the Personal Conduct Policy without being arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime. Goodell wrote to Roethlisberger in April that:
“The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that I may impose discipline ‘even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime’ as, for example, where the conduct ‘imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person’ ….or conduct that ‘undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL.” (ESPN.com)
If Roethlisberger’s suspension is reduced to the expected four games instead of three, then he will probably use the team’s Week 5 bye to get ready for the divisional rivalry game against the Cleveland Browns on October 17th.